Chi-chi Nwanoku, principal bass with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, will present a two-hour masterclass for Penn State students at 6:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 20, in Esber Recital Hall. Her visit to Penn State is hosted by distinguished professor of music Robert Nairn, and sponsored by the University Park Allocation Committee (UPAC). Admission is free.

Chi-chi Nwanoku was born in London of Nigerian and Irish parents. She spent two years of her early childhood living in her much loved fatherland, Imo State, Nigeria, and continues to visit at every opportunity with her children.

At the age of 7 she discovered music on a neighbor’s piano, and was so inspired by its sounds and possibilities that she began her education as a classical musician.  At the age of 18, she took up the double bass to pursue a career in music. She studied at the Royal Academy of Music and with Franco Petracchi in Rome, and soon found herself in demand internationally. She has become one of England’s most sought after double bass players, and has developed a worldwide reputation as one of the finest exponents on her instrument today.

Her first professional position was as principal double bass with the London Mozart Players, and since then she has performed and recorded as principal and soloist with many of Europe’s prestigious chamber orchestras and ensembles. These include the Academy of St Martin’s-in-the-Fields, English Baroque Soloists, London Classical Players and the Orchestre Revolutionnaire et Romantique. She is principal double bass and a founder member of the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and Endymion Ensemble. She serves as professor of double bass historical studies at The Royal Academy of Music, and gives masterclasses as a visiting professor at conservatoires worldwide.

Her extensive discography includes three recordings of Schubert’s ‘Trout’ Quintet, with Domus, Hausmusik and Trio Fontennay with Nabuko Imai (viola), for Virgin, EMI and Teldec respectively. She has also recorded the Schubert Octet, Beethoven Septet, Rossini String Sonatas (a Quattro) and Boccherini ‘cello sonatas (with Richard Lester/Hyperion).